Matchup Analysis NBA 1/21/14

Brooklyn Nets vs Orlando

Previous Matchup: Hard to analyze because the team makeups were so different. Afflalo and Oladipo had great games despite limited minutes and both were at the SG position against Joe Johnson.


BRK is top 5 worst in fantasy points given up to SGs. Although for some reason past 15 Brooklyn has been good against every position. Seems fluky.

With Glen Davis at Center, ORL has given up monster games to big men. Al Jefferson had 30/16, Joakim Noah had a 26/19/6 game against them in triple overtime but had great stats going into the extra session. Big men in general on Denver had a lot of points. Cousins had 24/14/6 game while Rudy gay had 24/10. Batum had a triple double while Aldridge had a 36/9 line. DeAndre Jordan had 14/17 with 8 blocks.

Obvious targets are Joe Johnson and Blatche. I definitely like Johnson here as he’s been super hot, with a salary around 6000 on most sites and has went over 30 fantasy points in all of the last 6 games. This coincided with Deron Williams absence from the lineup. Williams returned yesterday and played 27 minutes but Johnson still did very well, scoring 40 fantasy points. Having Williams back is definitely a negative for Johnson but my sense is he’s still the number one scoring option on the team and should continue his production. Williams also is going to continue to come off the bench which means they will likely see the floor at different times.

Blatche has been very hot in the past two games, posting 40 fantasy points in both even with subpar matchups against Atlanta and New York. He gets a really good matchup this week with Orlando, and has done well against good matchups this season like the Clippers, Detroit, and Charlotte. He’s definitely a risky pick as it seems nearly everyone on Brooklyn is competing for minutes, but he’s worth it in this matchup. Blatche should get most of his minutes at Center so expect him to see time against Davis. The only negative about this matchup is that Blatche is not a post up, bruising center, and that’s who Orlando seems to struggle most against.

A sleeper pick to consider is Andrei Kirelenko. He’s absolutely a GPP only play as he doesn’t get a lot of minutes. But Jason Kidd isn’t afraid to go small as he’s shown in starting Paul Pierce at PF and Kirelenko and play both SF and PF. Andrei’s minutes have been steadily increasing as he’s been slowly returning from a back injury. With guys like Alan Anderson and Mirza Teletovic getting a lot of playing time, Alan Anderson and Shaun Livingston starting, and old guys like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett being limited in minutes all season, there’s a lot of room for Kirelenko to see playing time. If he does, we could see production go back to his averages his past few seasons, where he averaged over 25 fantasy points a game. For a guy who is near min salary, that’s great value.


Brooklyn has been an unusually tough matchup in the past 15 games, giving up one of the lowest amount of fantasy points per game at every position. DeMar Derozan has a good game against them, with 26 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Lebron also had a solid game starting at PF with 36 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, although that game went to double overtime. Stephen Curry had 34/7/5 against them as well. But everyone else in those games for the most part did poorly. Bench players seemed to overperform at times, which makes sense against a team like Brooklyn who tends to use a deep rotation.

Brooklyn is starting Joe Johnson at SG again so we should expect more success from the SG position. It appears that is currently occupied by Oladipo, as the Magic have went small with Vucevic out. Oladipo is incredibly inconsistent but has such a high ceiling he’s a very good play for GPPs. Johnson is one of the worst defenders on the team so targeting a matchup against him makes sense.

With so many injuries there’s a lot of good prices on Orlando. Jameer Nelson has been on a tear, Afflalo is continuing a break out year, and Tobias Harris and Glen Davis have had solid games. Harris is an incredibly consistent player who is going to spend most of his time against Paul Pierce at PF which should bode well for him. Solid cash game player, but Harris doesn’t tend to have a high enough ceiling to warrant GPP play.

The sleeper play here is Kyle O’Quinn. O’Quinn comes off the bench on a roster short of good big men. He hasn’t had minutes all season but has averaged around 20 in the past 3. It seems like he’s getting a shot at being a solid part of the rotation. With a guy like Glen Davis starting at Center O’Quinn could have a game that supplants Davis as the starter. With over 20 FPPG in limited playing time over the past 3, he seems like a great play at nearly min salary. Given Brooklyn’s favored by 7.5 and O’Quinn will almost certainly see garbage time minutes he’s not even much of a gamble. I’d play him in both cash games and GPPs.

Minnesota vs Utah

Previous Matchup: Last game each team played, Utah got blown out by the end of the first half. Love and Pekovic each had a large amount of success in limited playing time. Pekovic had 27 points and 14 rebounds while Love had 18 points 13 rebounds and 5 assists. Rubio also was effective with 6 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds. Gordan Hayward did not play.


Minnesota has had practically the same starting 5 all season. Ronny Turiaf and Chase Budinger have returned from injuries and have seen around 15-20 minutes of playing time in each game they have played. Love and Pekovic basically have their minutes locked in, but Brewer, Martin, and Rubio are faced with quality backups competing for playing time. Rubio is often benched in favor of J.J. Barea during poor Rubio performances.

Utah has been terrible against big men all year, starting Marvin Williams at PF. Forwards and Centers tend to do the best against Utah, as offensively they struggle a lot offensively and give up a lot of rebounds.

I really like Pekovic this game. He did amazingly in the previous game against Utah and his performance has correlated very highly with DVP and Utah gives tons of points up to the center position.

Love is more of a wildcard. He doesn’t correlate at all with DVP of PF which is better for this matchup since Utah doesn’t tend to give up a lot of PF output. His best games of the season however have come against teams with weak interiors such as Milwaukee, Dallas, and LAC. Utah also fits that mold. Despite Love’s stat sheet not looking too great last game, his fantasy point per minute output was actually one of the highest of the year. Love also correlates somewhat highly with Defensive Efficiency and Effective FG% allowed, both categories which Utah struggles in. I think Love is a really great start against Utah, especially now on the road with a Utah team getting back its best player, Gordan Hayward.

I probably wouldn’t touch anyone else on the team. Rubio is a decent option however he is GPP only and his price is pretty high on most sites.


Minnesota is a good fantasy matchup at all positions, and given Minnesota is only favored by 2.5 we should definitely target some Utah players. Minnesota has struggled against both SF and SG positions. A few games ago, Rudy Gay had a 33 point, 6 assist, 5 rebound explosion. Kevin Durant had a 48 point, 7 assist, 7 rebound game earlier. Shawn Marion had a 32 point, 6 rebound, 3 assist game against them which totally smashed his value for a $5000 salary. Khris Middleton did the same with a 23 point, 9 rebound game. Damian Lillard broke the SF trend with a 36 point, 6 rebound, 6 assist game. Scoring, undersized big men Zach Randolph and Jared Sullinger also had solid games.

The only guy who I really like in this matchup for Utah is Gordan Hayward. He’s expected to return from injury tonight. His last game was a 62 fantasy point performance against Oklahoma City. Hayward is an awesome young player who is having a breakout 4th season in the NBA, with career highs in all statistical categories. His price is similar to Dwayne Wade, but Hayward has a lot more upside. Hayward correlates very highly with DVP and Minnesota gives up tons of points to SGs. He’s also just generally mispriced this year since he’s had a breakout year and is coming back from injury (read more here). The only negative on Hayward is he’s just coming back from injury. Watch the news on him to see if he’s expected to have minute limitations. Given the fact Utah is in no hurry to get him back, I expect he is fully healthy now and we should see the Hayward we’re used to.

Trey Bruke is a decent GPP play because he’s a young player who has had very good games, but I don’t think there’s any strong reason to take him this game.

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View all posts by Daniel Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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